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Latta Remarks at Communications and Technology Censorship Hearing


02.24.21

Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Subcommittee Leader for Communications and Technology Bob Latta delivered remarks at a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing about government censorship and the silencing of political views.

As prepared for delivery:

“Good afternoon, and welcome to all of our witnesses here today for a hearing focused on disinformation and extremism in the media.

“While disinformation, misinformation, and extremism in the media are all serious issues this committee should be examining in a bipartisan way, unfortunately, today’s hearing is not about that.

“Earlier this week, several of my colleagues sent a disturbing letter to private companies asking them questions that imply that these companies should stop carrying certain news content.

As the title of the hearing indicates, the Majority’s intent behind today’s hearing is to fan the flames of silencing certain viewpoints in America by trying to suppress and censor speech, a concept that has the potential to destroy our Democracy. This is deeply troubling and should be deeply troubling to everyone here today. With this goal at hand, we are embarking upon a dangerous path of using this Committee to attack the foundation of fact and further diminish trust in journalism.

The antidote to bad speech is more speech. Rather than suppressing speech and viewpoints we don’t agree with, we should be encouraging more speech and conversations between one another. Sadly, it appears we are doubling down on encouraging the cancel culture of the left instead of identifying bipartisan solutions to encourage and support factual local and national news.

“We are all facing unprecedented challenges in this country, which includes work to combat a once in a century pandemic. There has never been a more important time for journalism to be accurate and reliable. Having reliable news sources that report factual content can even be a matter of life and death.

The damage done to our Democracy by further dividing our nation and ignoring the patently false and inaccurate information coming from media outlets cannot be understated.

“Before I close, I’d like to bring to light just one of the most recent examples we have seen in the press concerning the attacks on the Capitol and Capitol grounds on January 6th: Republicans and Democrats, including myself, have condemned the events of January 6th. It is disturbing, to say the least, to insinuate responsibility for the mob violence that took place that day lies only with media, but not with the individuals who carried out those actions and committed crimes. That is flat out wrong.

We should be here today to discuss ways to combat disinformation, and the responsibility media outlets have when real-world violence occurs as a result of rhetoric. Nobody knows this better than Republican Whip Steve Scalise.

“I would like to yield the remainder of my time to the distinguished Whip from Louisiana.”

Watch Republican Whip Steve Scalise’s statement HERE.

Press Release